The Best Whiskeys To Chase Down This June

Summer is here and the glut of spring releases is petering out. But don’t worry, whiskey fans, fall is just around the corner. And more than that, there are still tons of whiskeys hitting shelves right now. There are so many — and so many that are pretty damn good — that this list probably could have been 50 entries long.

I managed to narrow my picks down to a mere 20 new bottles. But it wasn’t easy.

Below, I’ve listed 20 brand-new whiskeys or new batches of yearly releases that you should spend your hard-earned money on in the next 30-odd days. These whiskeys are just hitting shelves and represent the best of what’s new right now — or in the case of some of the scotches, “what’s newly getting a long-awaited U.S. release.” They’re all fresh, fun, and f*cking delicious.

Because of that last factor, I didn’t rank these whiskeys. Look, folks, there’s a wide range of whiskeys below. And while I might love a funky smoked fat Islay Ardbeg Scotch whisky, you might be more into a Kentucky cherry bomb or a grassy American single malt. So my advice is to read those tasting notes and then hit the price links to buy the whiskey(s) that speak to you.

Let’s dive in!

Check Out The Best New Whiskeys Of The Last Six Months:

Blue Run Single Barrel Double Oak Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey (Barrel: #68594)

Blue Run Single Barrel Double Oak Kentucky Straight Rye
Blue Run

ABV: 53.85%

Average Price: $199

The Whiskey:

Blue Run Double Oak Single Barrel Rye Whiskey is a new line of 10 single barrels that are dropping just in time for Father’s Day. The whiskey in each case is a double oak finish Kentucky rye that’s first aged in classic American white oak that’s finished in another new American white oak barrel — both of which were toasted and charred to a level #3 (medium deep). Those whiskey barrels were then bottled 100% as-is.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Bright dried red chili peppers mingle with soft leather, a twinge of toffee sweetness, soft red berries, and a whisper of umami.

Palate: Caramel and woody vanilla rush to a touch of cherry bark and ABV warmth next to creamy winter spice and a hint of sharp red chili heat.

Finish: The end is a long and warm hug with a sense of dried brown spices with a hot edge, mild nuttiness, and a foundation of buttercream cut with sassafras chips.

Bottom Line:

This is truly great rye whiskey with a deep profile that leans part classic and part fresh. The sweet/spicy balance is spot on and delivers a fun and fresh rye whiskey sipping experience.

It’s also a special Father’s Day release, which makes a whole lot of sense to buy in June.

Ardbeg BizarreBQ Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Ardbeg BizarreBQ

ABV: 50.9%

Average Price: $84

The Whisky:

This new release from Ardbeg is their first-ever barbecue-inspired release. Ardbeg’s Master Distiller Dr. Bill Lumsden teamed up with DJ BBQ (Christain Stevenson) to build a three-cask whisky. The casks, in this case, were double charred oak, Pedro Ximénez sherry, and “BBQ” casks. The blend was then vatted and bottled as-is at cask strength.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: There’s a creamy essence to the nose kind of like the fat on a smoked brisket that leads to an espresso and winter spice rub deep in a charred fattiness with marmalade hints and whispers of smudging sage and singed provencal herbs with this light sense of smoldering hickory ash underneath.

Palate: The taste is creamy as well with a sense of fatty pulled pork smothered in a chili-spiked gingery bbq sauce with creamy honey and plenty of winter spice layered with grilled steak fat flaked with salt and dusted with white pepper as a fainter twinge of black licorice and that smoldering hickory draw a line from the nose to the back of the palate.

Finish: The end leaves you with fatty smoked meats, soft spices tied to burnt orange, and a sense of chili creamed with espresso pudding next to the ashes from a 24-hour smoker smoke session.

Bottom Line:

This transports you to an overnight smoker session with the fire blazing, some ribs already in your hand, spicy sauce coating your fingers, and a glass of whiskey (smudged from that fatty sauced meat) delivering the perfect whisky accompaniment.

That’s a fancy way for me to say this is the perfect barbecue whisky.

New Riff Blue Clarage Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

New Riff Blue Clarage
New Riff

ABV: 50%

Average Price: $56

The Whiskey:

This brand-new distillery-only release from New Riff goes hard on the grain-to-glass ethos. The whiskey is made with heirloom corn — Blue Clarage, to be specific — that was developed by local Ohio farmer Edmund Clarridge back in the 1920s. New Riff had some more grown for this whiskey and created a mash bill (recipe) of 65% Blue Clarage corn, 30% rye, and 5% malted barley. That whiskey aged for five years before batching, proofing, and bottling.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: The nose is super fruity in fascinating ways with fresh red and green chilis next to ripe peach and marmalade all cut with sharp cloves and allspice with a mild sense of old leather wrapped around chili-infused tobacco leaves.

Palate: The palate is super lush with a sense of dark cherry Black Forest cake next to dried chili pepper, soft vanilla buttercream cut with salted caramel, and a sense of orchard tree bark.

Finish: That bark doesn’t take away from the lushness of the finish as soft leather and apple pie tobacco mingle with soft dates and figs next to a light sense of that marmalade on the end.

Bottom Line:

This is a pretty damn tasty whiskey. It is very fruit-forward but balances out nicely with the spices and creaminess.

You’re going to have to hit the Kentucky distillery to get this one at MSRP with a maximum of two bottles per customer. Trust me, you’re going to want to get two.

Clermont Steep American Single Malt Whiskey

Clermont Steep
Beam Suntory

ABV: 47%

Average Price: $65

The Whiskey:

This new release from James B. Beam in Clermont, Kentucky is Jim Beam’s foray into the world of American single malt whiskey. The juice was crafted from 100% American malted barley and fermented with Beam’s proprietary yeast strain. That whiskey was left for five years to mellow in toasted barrels that were barely charred. The final product was batched and proofed down before bottling.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: The nose opens with a toasted caramel maltiness that’s akin to a nice bowl of bespoke porridge cut with salted toffee syrup and a nice dollop of butter with a hint of chocolate-covered caramels in the background.

Palate: The palate is luscious yet light with a Kentucky winter spice bark vibe next to a bowl of Cream of Wheat with a hint of honey and nasturtium as a counterbalance.

Finish: The end really leans into the Kentucky wood spice with a nice hint of pear orchards and soft chewing tobacco just kissed with chili pepper spice.

Bottom Line:

Who among us wouldn’t want to try Beam’s first foray into American single malt whiskey?

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Batch No. B523

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof B523
Heaven Hill

ABV: 62.1%

Average Price: $69

The Whiskey:

The latest Elijah Craig Barrel Proof is here (number two of three for 2023). This edition is a batch of bourbons that are a minimum of 11.5 years old (down from the usual 12-year age statements). The batch is bottled completely as is without cutting with water or chill filtration.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: There’s a nice sense of funk and fruit on the nose — think standing by a barn in an apple orchard — that leads to salted caramel, cherry tobacco, and rich dark chocolate cut with red chili pepper flakes with a lush vanilla foundation of almond cakes and powdered sugar icing.

Palate: Rich winter spice cakes with a hint of rum raisin drive the taste toward dark cherry spiced tobacco with a rush of ABVs that cause a deep buzz before old cellar dirt floors and oak arrives with a dark sense of chocolate and espresso all kissed with salt.

Finish: Cherry Coke and gingerbread drive the finish with a lush and vibrant sense of red chili pepper spice, black pepper woodiness, and cinnamon bark softness before stewed apple and buttery pie crust lead back toward a vanilla almond cake vibe with a lingering warming sensation.

Bottom Line:

This is an excellent Elijah Craig release. It’s deeply classic while going to new and funky places. That said, this is a little warm and really benefits from an ice cube or some water. Or, you know, as a cocktail base. No matter how you use it, it’ll be damn good.

Orphan Barrel Scarlet Shade Straight Rye Whiskey

Orphan Barrel Scarlet Shade Straight Rye Whiskey

ABV: 45%

Average Price: $199

The Whisky:

The new Orphan Barrel from Diageo is a very rare release. The whiskey in the bottle is a 14-year-old rye that was distilled in Indiana and then left to age at the famed Stitzel-Weller Distillery in Louisville, Kentucky. Those barrels were batched and proofed before bottling.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: The nose is a vanilla bomb with a sense of buttercream and salted caramel ice cream next to fresh dark berries, a hint of zucchini bread with walnuts and clove, and a mild sense of cedar cigar humidors.

Palate: The bark-heavy winter spices amp up on the palate as plums, peaches, and pears get stewed and lead to a sharp marmalade with a hint of salted dark chocolate-covered espresso beans next to coffee-laced tobacco with a whisper of black cherry.

Finish: The end leans into the spice and tobacco as the orchard fruit really amps up with a deep vanilla cake base cut with real vanilla pods and a light sense of old oak staves in a dusty cellar with a dirt floor.

Bottom Line:

This is a wild ride and a formidable rye. It’s also a one-of-a-kind whiskey. Buy it now or forever hold your piece (or suffer the aftermarket prices).

Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Barrel Proof Tennessee Rye Whiskey

Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Rye

ABV: 68.65%

Average Price: $72

The Whiskey:

The whiskey in this bottle is drawn from single barrels of the good stuff. The whiskey in those barrels was made with Jack Daniel’s rye mash bill of 70% rye, 18% corn, and 12% malted barley that’s fermented with Jack’d proprietary yeast and lactobacillus before running through column stills. The hot juice is then slowly — literally one drip at a time — filtered through 10 feet of sugar maple charcoal made on-site at the distillery. Once filtered, the whiskey is filled into new American oak barrels and left to rest until each one was just right for a barrel-proof bottling run.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: The nose runs deep with a hint of dried red chili pepper that builds toward soft and fresh pipe tobacco cut with pear and packed into an old leather pouch as a little bit of old candy wrapper a note of fizzy chinotto soda with a rock candy sweetness and a hint of dry sweet cedar.

Palate: Sweet dark fruits and grilled peach open the palate as a dramatic warmth starts to build toward razor-sharp clove, cinnamon, and mace with a very slight woody bark presence before singed marshmallows come into play and the heat hits 9-point-holy-shit on the Richter Scale.

Finish: That heat fades pretty quickly on the back end as notes of old boot leather and apple skin tobacco mingle with a faint whisper of creamy almond and ginger rock candy next to a fleeting note of dried ancho chilis soaked in hot water.

Bottom Line:

This is a very balanced whiskey, especially for one with such high ABVs. It’s also a really unique rye with a killer overall flavor profile that just keeps going. My advice is to add some water or an ice cube and let this one really bloom in the glass. You won’t be disappointed.

Chattanooga Whiskey Founder’s 11th Anniversary Blend A Blend of Straight Whiskeys

Chattanooga Whiskey Founder's 11th Anniversary Blend
Chattanooga Whiskey

ABV: 50%

Average Price: $59

The Whiskey:

This very limited edition whiskey is made from a blend of Chattanooga’s own whiskey blended with classic whiskey from MGP of Indiana. All the barrels are over two years old (young by a lot of people’s “standards”) and barrelled in toasted and charred oak. Those barrels were batched (using nine to 11 barrels at a time) and that whiskey was then added to Chattanooga’s solera vat (where whiskey is always added before the old wooden vat it’s fully emptied). That whiskey was then lightly proofed and bottled as-is otherwise.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Dark chocolate and nutty holiday cakes dance on the palate with a sense of spiced plum jam next to soft vanilla pudding that slowly morphs into fancy cream soda.

Palate: A hint of waffle cone and walnut salted caramel ice cream drives the palate a soft sense of oak and holiday spice barks with a hint of stewed apple/pear in the background.

Finish: The orchard fruit layers into spiced chewy tobacco with a sense of plumminess that’s part holiday cake and part creamy pudding.

Bottom Line:

This is a limited run of whiskey that’s worth tracking down right now before it’s gone forever. It’s deep, fun, and engaging from top to bottom.

Oban Distillers Edition Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Oban Distillers Edition

ABV: 43%

Average Price: $156

The Whisky:

This expression is a love letter to the tiny town of Oban on the western coast of Scotland. The whisky is standard Oban that’s finished in Montilla Fino sherry casks to add an extra dimension to the already finely crafted whisky from the distillery. Those casks are then vatted and proofed before bottling.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: A small billow of smoke greets you on the nose next to notes of sea brine, orange zest, and a hint of vinous fruit that feels a little like saltwater taffy and a little like old Fruit Roll-Ups with a sense of soft winter spices lurking under it all.

Palate: Sweet caramel malts form on the silky palate as stewed pear and apple mingle with salted toffee and a light sense of oyster shell and toasted seaweed barely breakthrough on the back end.

Finish: That hint of the sea fades on the finish as you’re left with soft caramel maltiness and even softer stewed pear just kissed with saffron, clove, and anise next to a whisper of plum pudding.

Bottom Line:

This is a great pairing dram for a seafood feast. It’s also one of the best all-around slow sippers on this list, especially if you’re looking for a very mildly peated Scotch whisky.

Dalwhinnie Distillers Edition Single Highland Malt Scotch Whisky

Dalwhinnie Distillers Edition

ABV: 43%

Average Price: $129

The Whisky:

The Dalwhinnie is a tiny distillery that whisky nerds love, and for good reason — they make amazing whisky. This yearly edition of the iconic peated malt is double cask matured with Port wine cask before batching, proofing, and bottling.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: The nose opens with a very Highland sense of floral honey next to soft minerality — kind of like walking on slate after the rain — before dark plums and figs mingle with caramel malts and a fleeting sense of smoked pears dipped in clove and anise syrup.

Palate: The palate follows that smoked pear toward old honey jars with plenty of crystallization and a faint hint of a rainy forest next to winter spice cakes full of fatty nuts and dried fruits with a note of bourbon vanilla and burnt orange lurking far in the background.

Finish: That burnt orange leads to more holiday spices with a creamy maltiness on the end that’s pure silk as a whisper of that floral honey returns with a spiced maltiness.

Bottom Line:

This is like sipping the smoothest whisky ever. It’s so soft and nice and easy. But don’t let that fool you, this still delivers a deep and rewarding flavor profile.

Blood Oath Pact No. 9 Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Oloroso Sherry Casks

Blood Oath Pact No. 9
Lux Row

ABV: 49.3%

Average Price: $139

The Whiskey:

This is a classic and very high-end luxe blend of bourbons from Lux Row. The whiskey is made with one 16-year-old bourbon barrel married to two 12-year-old barrels. That batched whiskey was then blended with three seven-year-old bourbons that were finished in Spanish Oloroso sherry casks, all sourced from the Sherry Triangle region in Southwest Spain.

Once batched, the whiskey is bottled as-is with no proofing.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: The nose runs deep with a sense of red fruit leather, dark yet sharp woody spice barks, salted toffee rolled in toasted almond, and a fleeting whisper of dark chocolate sauce cut with salt, lavender, and red chili.

Palate: The palate opens with juicy pears and grilled peaches next to stewed plums and leathery prunes over rum raisin dipped in that dark and spicy chocolate with a hint of creamy cherry butteriness.

Finish: The woody chili spice and creamy dark fruit kicks up on the end with a sense of sticky toffee pudding tobacco, old cedar humidors, and a bushel of dried vanilla pods layered with smudging sage.

Bottom Line:

This is just great bourbon. Get one if you can find it. It’s a killer whiskey that’ll truly take you on a journey.

Middle West Double Cask Collection Oloroso Wheat Whiskey

Middle West Wheat Whiskey
Middle West

ABV: 50%

Average Price: $99

The Whiskey:

This limited edition release from Ohio’s Middle West is all about the locally-grown red winter wheat in the mash bill (recipe). That wheaty beer is distilled and then loaded into new American oak where it rests for five years. Those barrels are batched and that whiskey goes into Spanish Oloroso sherry casks before batching and proofing.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Classic bourbon notes of rich vanilla and spiced oak lead the nose toward rich and creamy eggnog with plenty of allspice and nutmeg next to cinnamon sticks dipped in warm apple cider.

Palate: Lush marzipan dipped in salted dark chocolate and rolled in dried dark cherries vibe with brandy-soaked prunes and dates next to subtle hints of burnt orange and old oak.

Finish: Those brandy-soaked raisins drive the finish toward an end brimming with dark chocolate, dark cherry, and dark spice vibes.

Bottom Line:

This whiskey has a lot going on and it all works. Overall, this is a rare release that I want to see go mainstream from Middle West. It’s unique but 100% understandable and fun to drink from top to bottom.

Nelson Bros. Whiskey A Blend of Straight Bourbon Whiskeys Finished in Trubee Honey Casks

Nelson Bros. Whiskey Honey Cask Bourbon
Nelson Bros. Whiskey

ABV: 53.6%

Average Price: $199

The Whiskey:

This whiskey starts off by seasoning used whiskey barrels (from Nelson’s Green Brier’s warehouse) with honey. The distillery sends its barrels to TruBee Honey Farm in Arrington, Tennessee where the barrels are filled with wildflower honey. After the honey has finished its rest, the barrels are emptied and sent back to Nashville. Once they arrive at Nelson’s, they’re filled with Belle Meade’s award-winning bourbon for a six to eight-month rest where the honey makes its mark on the whiskey.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: The nose opens with a sense of a fruit orchard on a sunny day with subtle spice barks and floral honey next to a moment of leather, caramel tobacco, and almond.

Palate: Those almonds take on some toast on the palate as vanilla cake cut with buttercream and floral honey leads to a sense of honey sesame crackers and sharply spice oak staves.

Finish: A bright pepperiness drives the finish into spiced honey with a touch of toasted oats, marzipan, and burnt orange with a whisper of chamomile tea.

Bottom Line:

This remains one of my favorite honey cask-finished bourbons of all time. This year’s release simply cemented what I already knew. It’s fantastic and works wonders as a slow sipper or killer cocktail base (seriously, try it in a sour with the sugar dialed way back).

Barrell Craft Spirits Private Release Islay Cask Finish

Barrell Craft Spirits Islay Cask

ABV: 62.08%

Average Price: $99

The Whiskey:

This new single-barrel release from Barrell Craft Spirits via ReserveBar is a blend of bourbon and rye whiskeys. Once batched, that whiskey went into a single barrel from Islay that held peated single malt whisky over in Scotland for years. That barrel was then selected by the team at ReserveBar and bottled 100% as-is.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: The nose leans into smoked black pepper with a hint of salted caramel next to coconut nut clusters, demerara syrup, and a twinge of dried smoked cherry.

Palate: There’s an earthiness to the palate that’s almost mossy in a dry way next to more smoke cherry and wet brown sugar with a twinge of marzipan just kissed with dark orange.

Finish: The nuttiness drives the dry finish toward very thin whisps of smoked dark fruit and winter spice barks.

Bottom Line:

This is another fascinating bridge from Isaly peat to Kentucky whiskey. The peatiness is just barely there on the finish, which adds this whole new dimension to the overall pour. It’s truly fascinating and very enticing.

Get some while it lasts!

Penelope Straight Bourbon Whiskey Double Cask Finish Rio

Penelope Straight Bourbon Whiskey Double Cask Finish Rio

ABV: 49%

Average Price: $99

The Whiskey:

This is damn near a classic now. This year’s Rio is still Penelope’s batch of four-grain bourbon (the blends of barrels work out to 74% corn, 14% wheat, 9% rye, and 3% malted barley). The ripple is that once batched the whiskey is re-barrelled into American honey and Brazilian Amburana oak casks. Those casks are then batched, proofed, and bottled.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: The honey is super creamy on the nose with a hint of pine forest next to hot cinnamon sticky buns with melting buttercream frosting and plenty of winter spice next to a hint of pecan.

Palate: The spiced rolls drive the palate toward a darker gingerbread with fresh and orange-infused honey adding a sharp contrast before the barkier elements of the spices and nuts roll back in.

Finish: The end leans into almost savory figs and date leather with a sense of winter spice barks, burnt orange rinds, and singed vanilla pods next to a hint of marzipan tobacco and soft fresh honeycomb.

Bottom Line:

The honey and woody spice really drive this one. It’s a great mix with a lot of fun counterpoints along the way in the flavor profile. Overall, this is just a fun and tasty whiskey to enjoy however you like sipping your whiskey.

Brother’s Bond Four-Grain Small-Batch American Blended Rye Whiskey

Brother's Bond American Blended Rye

ABV: 47.5%

Average Price: $48

The Whiskey:

This brand-new release from Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley’s Brothers Bond is their first foray into rye. The whiskey in the bottle is a blend of their bourbon cut with a four-year-old 95/5 rye (rye/malted barley). The final product ends up being a 77% rye whiskey once batched, proofed, and bottled.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Dark fruit leather, stewed peach, and salted caramel mingle with vanilla buttercream cut with toffee and winter spice syrups on the nose.

Palate: The palate opens with a hint of grilled pineapple and peach dosed in caramel sauce and hit with salt before dark winter spice cakes arrive with dates, prunes, and old nuts with plenty of clove and allspice that eventually leads to a hint of eggnog creaminess.

Finish: The spice gets barky on the backend as the finish drives toward old wicker furniture in sweetgrass on a summer’s day next to a mild chili-peach-infused chewing tobacco leaf.

Bottom Line:

This is an interesting blended rye that really goes all-in on the dark and funky fruits. There’s plenty of spice, don’t get me wrong, but this is built as a crowd-pleaser more than a classic “spicy” rye and… I kinda love it for that. There’s real depth here that’s worth seeking out, especially if you’re looking for a fruit-forward rye whiskey.

Nikka Whisky Single Malt Yoichi 10 Years Old

Nikka Yoichi Single Malt 10 Years Old
Asahi Group Holdings

ABV: 45%

Average Price: $175

The Whisky:

The Yoichi facility is perched on the Hokkaido coast in the far north of Japan. The whisky is made very slowly with lightly peated local malt. The mash is made with local spring water and slowly distilled in pot stills with direct coal heating underneath. That whisky is then left to age for 10 years by the sea but also in the forest, in used oak, until it’s just right. The barrels are then vatted in a large wooden tank and bottled with a touch of that local water.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: There’s a clear sense of an old herb spice cupboard with a hint of mint and sage that leads to fresh tart apples and red berries with a touch of smoked plums and apricots next to fresh pain au chocolate dipped in floral honey.

Palate: That buttery pastry opens the taste with a hint of white pepper and dried strawberries dipped in milk chocolate and drizzled with a spiced caramel before this thin whisper of smoked mushroom powder sneaks in.

Finish: That smoked umami vibe attaches to a dry oakiness with a sense of apricot leather just kissed with sweet orchard wood smoke and soft pepperiness tied to malted honey digestive biscuits before a final rush of creamy yet still floral honey softens everything.

Bottom Line:

This is just delicious and one of the best introductions to Japanese whisky that money can buy. You know what to do.

The Macklowe American Single Malt Whiskey 6th Edition

The Macklowe American Single Malt Whiskey
The Macklowe

ABV: 46%

Average Price: $1,699

The Whiskey:

This is a super rare American single malt that’s filtered through a masterful Scotch whisky POV. The barrel was chosen by Master Blender Ian MacMillan and American beauty entrepreneur, socialite, and whiskey master Julie Macklowe. MacMillan and Macklowe chose a seven-year-old toasted barrel single malt aged in new American white oak in Kentucky. That whiskey was cut with local water and bottled as-is otherwise, creating only 237 bottles.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: The nose is all about sweet oak sugars (think brown sugar and rock candy) with a sense of burnt orange, marzipan, and salted caramel next to this moment of spicy honey with a twinge of dried florals and pecans.

Palate: Bitter yet sweet orange drives the taste toward soft stick toffee pudding with good salted caramel, orange zest, and walnut next to real maple syrup and old woody holiday spice barks.

Finish: Those holiday spices blend with the marzipan and dried orange for a cake vibe that’s accented by soft malted whisky with a sense of bourbon cream.

Bottom Line:

This has a great balance and makes for an easy yet fulfilling sipper of American single malt whiskey. Since these are so rare, you might have a better chance of finding a bottle/pour at a very high-end bar or restaurant than a high-end whiskey shop though. Good luck out there!

World Whiskey Society 31-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky Distilled by Macallan Distillery

The Macallan 31yo
The World Whiskey Society

ABV: 53.7%

Average Price: $9,999

The Whisky:

The World Whiskey Society bottled this amazingly rare whisky this year. The whisky in this very bespoke bottle is from a single 31-year-old sherry cask that The Macallan had in its warehouses. It was bottled at cask strength, which means only 71 bottles were filled.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: The nose opens with the softest marzipan (Niedderegger) dipped in fruity and beautiful brandy next to almost savory pear, apple taffy, and pomelo skins over Sicilian cannolis filled with orange-kissed cream and touched with pistachio and brandied-cherries.

Palate: That malted oak cake gets soaked in cognac with a floral fruitiness and a bright summer’s breeze as a hint of rye bread crusts just kissed with sweet anise brings the taste back toward clove and nutmeg sweet Christmas mincemeat pies and a twinge of dark mulled wine.

Finish: That rye and anise counter the soft malted spice cakes with a deep almond marzipan nuttiness that’s accented with pear brandy, orange oils, and vanilla cream with a deeply old wine cellar echo lingering underneath it all.

Bottom Line:

This is pretty wild and I’m honored to have tasted it. It’s pretty much exactly what you want from a very expensive whisky — deep, intriguing, special, aged, and pure silk.

Talisker Single Malt Scotch Whisky Aged 30 Years

Talisker 30

ABV: 45.8%

Average Price: $1,000

The Whisky:

Talisker’s seaside vibes are on full display in this beautiful bottle. The 2023 limited release (the 30-year is on a random release schedule) was around 3,000 bottles, making this a very rare expression from the Isle of Skye distillery. Those bottles were pulled from both ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks and masterfully blended right next to the sea at cask strength.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: The nose is shockingly subtle and soft with velvety notes of smoldering dried nori next to matchsticks that have been dipped in a buttery and rich dark chocolate with sea salt gently sprinkled all over.

Palate: The palate leans into the dialed-back peat by bringing about a smoked cream with fire-seared peaches next to a hint of wet cedar, very old tobacco leaves, and a touch of almond or oat milk flecked with salt.

Finish: That salt drives the mid-palate towards a finish that’s like getting kissed by merfolk on a beach next to a campfire that’s heating a cauldron full of spicy stewed peaches in more of that cream.

Bottom Line:

This seaside peated malt is so subtle and deeply refined that you’ll always find something new and different with every nose and sip. With the new 2023 version hitting shelves very soon, you really should try and snag a bottle. You might not see it again for a couple of years.